MPs debate pharmacy and the impact of Covid-19

MPs discussed the impact of Covid-19 on community pharmacy and funding arrangements for the sector, during a House of Commons debate this week (Thursday 11 March).

Led by the chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, the debate drew on the findings of the December 2020 All-Party Pharmacy Group Covid-19 Inquiry Report which showed that many pre-existing challenges had been amplified by the pandemic. Seventeen MPs took part in the debate, including Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill and her Labour Party opposite, Alex Norris. Jackie Doyle-Price and several others argued for a more secure financial footing for the community pharmacy sector. “My challenge is for DHSC and the NHS to properly look at how they can make sure pharmacies get a fair deal,” she said. Several MPs cited an Ernst and Young report commissioned by the NPA in 2020, which predicted that the average pharmacy will be making an annual loss of £43k by 2024, under current arrangements. Jo Churchill acknowledged that pharmacy teams have “worked unbelievably hard for the past year” and said she is “aware of concerns that current funding isn’t enough”. She continued, “We are still in discussions with the PSNC about the reimbursement of Covid-19 costs incurred by community pharmacy and I can reassure the house that the government will take a pragmatic approach.” Mark Lyonette, NPA Chief Executive said: “The level of parliamentary support for community pharmacy is at an all-time high, which is testament to the heroics of pharmacy teams during the pandemic as well as determined advocacy by NPA members and others.…

Pharmacies under-funded and at risk of closure, shows new research

● New report reveals future of community pharmacies under threat
● Research by EY (formerly Ernst and Young) shows three-quarters will be losing more than 40 thousand pounds a year by 2024
● Community pharmacies in England face funding gap of half a billion pounds

Opportunity to represent NPA members on cross-sector IT group

The Community Pharmacy IT Group was formed by NPA, PSNC, CCA, AIM and RPS and includes representatives from the NHS and pharmacy system suppliers. The group’s purpose is to: Develop a shared vision for the optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy in England; Provide a forum to discuss new digital technologies which may have a future impact on community pharmacy practice; Support the development of user-led recommendations which can be considered by suppliers; Provide a credible, respected forum for sector-wide engagement with NHS Digital and other national bodies on the vision, strategy and operational plans for delivering optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy; Develop an implementation strategy for delivering optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy and oversee a joint work-programme to deliver it; and Provide, through its member organisations, recommendations and advice to community pharmacy and other healthcare organisations The NPA is inviting members to join this group as NPA representatives. If appointed to represent the NPA, you would be expected to participate in four face-to-face meetings each year for which the NPA would reimburse your costs, provide a summary written report to the NPA Board after meetings and take part in virtual discussions on emerging issues as required.…

Wright Review next steps

The PSNC held a webinar on the Wright Review on 10th August and this is available to view on demand here. They have issued four questions for consultation about the way forward. The NPA will be submitting a written response to the PSNC itself, and is encouraging independent community pharmacy owners to do likewise to ensure that all the voices of the independent sector are heard. The NPA view on the Wright review is that: There needs to be change and the NPA wants to be an active participant in influencing and supporting that process. We recognise this review is a sincere attempt to create a more coherent, end-to-end system of representation and support, connecting local and national leadership. We can see merit in the vast majority of the recommendations made in the report, but we believe that key questions about the future of pharmacy representation & support in England remain unanswered by the Wright Review recommendations published in June. At the outset of this process, the NPA set out a number of principles we wished to see applied to any future structure. Uppermost of these are continued investment in local leadership and improved accountability. We also emphasise the importance of equitable governance, to ensure that the voices both of independents and multiples are fairly represented in local and national leadership.…

Ask Your Pharmacist (AYP) Week 2020 – 2-9 November

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has announced that the theme of this year’s Ask Your Pharmacist Week campaign will be ‘Your local pharmacy in the NHS family’.

It will run from 2-9 November and as usual aims both to raise awareness of pharmacy services and to prompt conversations with key stakeholders at a local level about community pharmacy’s role and benefits. According to an opinion survey carried out for the NPA in June, only 29% of people are “definitely aware” that community pharmacies are part of the NHS, despite the fact that pharmacies are the most visited of all settings where NHS care is offered. Campaign materials will therefore highlight pharmacy-based NHS services and that community pharmacy teams work as a team with other health service providers to deliver patient-centred care. In preparation, the NPA is collecting case studies of integrated care in which pharmacies demonstrate great teamwork within the NHS.  Please email press@npa.co.uk to share yours.…

Special Election for NPA Board of Management (Area 12) 2020-2022

Nominations have closed for an election to take place for a new NPA Board member in Area 12, which covers the West Midlands.

NHS Help Us, Help You campaign

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched their 'Help Us, Help You Campaign'.

NPA Board member election for Area 12

An election is set to take place for a new NPA board member in Area 12 which covers the West Midlands.   The nomination packs should have already reached members and the deadline for return of completed nomination forms is noon on Monday 10th February.   The NPA Board sets the policy, strategic direction and objectives for the Association.  Board members are expected to contribute actively to debate and deliver fresh thinking throughout the period of their service.   In addition to NPA Board meetings, Board members also participate in Standing Committees and/or Working Groups of the Board.  The main objective is to ensure that the NPA is advancing the interests of independent community pharmacy owners, to the benefit ultimately of patients and communities.   NPA Election timetable:   Nominations stage Dispatch of nomination packs by post to qualifying members – 13th January Nominations will close – Noon 10th   Election stage Despatch of election papers to qualifying members – 24th February Last date for receipt of voting papers –  Noon 20th March Declaration of results – 24th March Check on www.npa.co.uk/election for updates.…

“More important than ever” Ask Your Pharmacist Week gets underway

Ask Your Pharmacist Week 2019 begins today - an initiative by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and the NHS to build public understanding of community pharmacy services and the clinical skills of pharmacists.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week campaign materials now available

Pharmacies and pharmacy stakeholders can now access a suite of campaign materials via npa.co.uk/ayp2019, to prepare for Ask Your Pharmacist Week (11-18 November).

The Ask Your Pharmacist initiative is part of ongoing efforts by the NPA, the NHS and others to promote community pharmacy as a provider of clinical care and the first port of call for help with minor illnesses. Campaign materials include: Digital assets – imagery for Twitter and Facebook and template social media posts Window posters (downloadable in various sizes) and leaflets Web banner and suggested form of words for websites Template local newspaper column PowerPoint presentations & talk notes for community talks Pull up banners and leaflets for public exhibitions NPA Head of Communications, Stephen Fishwick, said: “The focus will be on the suitability of community pharmacy as a place to get clinical advice, in particular about common illnesses like coughs, colds and earache.” “Pharmacists in England will understand the timeliness of this message for the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, which begins at the end of October.” “However, the core theme resonates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.  A selection of resources is available so that pharmacies anywhere in the UK can participate.” NHS England and NHS Improvement has supported the development of Ask Your Pharmacist Week 2019 and the campaign assets carry NHS branding.…